It’s no secret that craft beer in this country is on the rise, and with the influx of great beers being brewed locally, the interest in quality suds has blossomed. Things are no different in New York City, where you can get a pint of superb beer at plenty of bars across the boroughs. Here are five of the swankiest places to bag a brew in the city:
With celebrated brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Denmark’s Evil Twin Brewing consulting at this new bar and restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the suds pouring from its 21 taps and 100-plus bottles are expertly curated. Naturally, the bar offers some of Jarnit-Bjergsø’s creations, including a barley wine called Tørst Front and Back Room, which he did especially for Tørst, as well rotating tipples such as Fluffer by Kuhnhenn and Oro de Calabaza by Jolly Pumpkin. Another unique aspect to the bar is its specialized draft system designed by Gabe Gordon, which utilizes his “flux capacitor,” a program that helps regulate the pressure and temperature on each keg so that the beer comes out the way it’s supposed to. The bar room has an old German bierhaus meets IKEA feel, and comes complete with a hefty marble bar, great for displaying the long-stemmed, patterned wine glasses specially made for patrons.
Don’t be dissuaded from wandering into this basement bar and restaurant, with low lights, dark wooden tables and candles illuminating the corners — it’s a lot swankier than it appears from the outside. Plus, with more than 50 options of suds, owner Jimmy Carbone made sure it has one of the best beer selections in the city. This means on any given day you might find Hopfenstark Black Francis or Dieu du Ciel Routes des Épices on tap, or Founders Breakfast Stout and Maine Mean Old Tom in the bottle. Pair that with a gourmet grilled cheese or grass-fed beef burger, and you have yourself a beautiful evening.
At this Chelsea restaurant’s taproom, you have the best of both worlds: An award-winning chef (and Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker), Tom Colicchio, and an American beer list strong enough to stand up to the outstanding food, such as house-made liverwurst with pickled vegetables or coffee-rubbed brisket. True, the list isn’t as extensive as some bars, but you won’t find any brew that isn’t extraordinary. Take a seat at the roomy bar and marvel at the lines of bottles while sipping the Rosemary Agave IPA by Ruin Elysian Brewery in Seattle, or the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale by Lexington Brewery from, you guessed it, Kentucky. Try the Extra Special Bitter, a brew made in collaboration with New York’s Empire Brewery, or the locally crafted Kombucha Ale by Beyond Kombucha, which pairs wonderfully with a plate of raw oysters.
The name of this Brooklyn beer bar translates from Dutch to mean “spitting devil,” but there will be no discarding any of these brews. Though the bar only has six beers on tap and one cask, owner Joe Carroll offers a fantastic list of bottled beers and ciders from all over the world. Head here in the warm weather to take advantage of the large, lush backyard, and cool off with a bottle of Hitachino White Ale or a Laguintas IPA. If it’s not alfresco weather, sidle up to the sleek bar and order a Flemish Vuuve Wit. Plus, if you aren’t sure what you want, the bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly and can help you find your perfect brew.
This charming East Village bar pioneered the beer scene in New York in the mid ‘90s and you can still get some the best suds around town here. With beers from across the world, the carefully selected list features dozens of bottles including Pete’s Wicked Ale from the United States, Blanche de Bruges Wit from Belgium and Paulaner Pilsner from Germany. It also has 15 drafts available, such as recent pours, Dupont Monk’s Stout and Southampton Burton Ale, as well as two brews on the hand pump. In addition to being a brilliant place to sample different beers, it’s also a great place to soak in a little NYC beer history.
Photos Courtesy of Linnea Covington and Colicchio And Sons